In 2003, fire fighters in Hazelwood, Missouri were called to a traffic accident scene at Interstate 270. A man was stuck in his car and police were already on-site trying to assist him. When the fire department arrived, fire captain Wilson told the driver to position their vehicle in an adjoining lane, creating a closed-off work-space for the response effort. Immediately, a police officer tried to order the vehicle driver to move the fire engine. This order was revoked by Wilson, and in response to this, the police arrested the fire captain who was then removed from the scene (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKzojYvXn20). Although this episode took place in the US, it serves to illustrate problems that appear to be ever-present in emergency response. Technology for emergency response has become very advanced, but efforts may still be inhibited by issues in interaction. How can collaboration between responding agencies be promoted at the incident site? How can they be assisted in situation assessment, planning, decision making and action? What technological and organizational support does this presuppose? These questions and many others will be explored in the present literature review.
Centre for Advanced Research in Emergency Response (CARER) is an interdisciplinary research environment jointly driven by Linköping University and the Swedish Civil Contingencies (MSB; Myndigheten för Samhällsskydd och Beredskap). This research environment carries out research and education around our society‟s ability to respond to everyday accidents as well as to large-scale crises.
The aim of this study was to perform a review of the literature on emergency response systems (ERS) and related fields, with regard to central theories, terms and definitions, mainly focusing on everyday accidents. The literature review also aimed to identify research gaps and to reveal important emerging features to further develop CARER related research.
This review will start by exploring concepts from cognitive science and systems theory that underpin much of the current research on emergency response systems. A number of interaction-related concepts will be presented and subsequently used to structure the following chapters. The chapter on central ERS features begins with a section on system architectures, which is followed by a more extensive section dealing with emergency response coordination, going from issues to requirements and existing solutions. Next, issues connected to information and communication will be presented. This section expands on some of the themes visited previously and also covers the subject of information systems resilience. The next section also relates to the subject of resilience and deals with other ways of handling uncertainty in emergency response. The final section on ERS features explores training and learning within this context. The following two chapters present research on the modelling, evaluation and design of emergency management systems, covering both methods and some examples. This is followed by a chapter summing up areas of possible future research that have been identified. A final chapter provides a more general summary.
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2012. , 70 p.